This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Monday, March 22, 2004
Government agents have been riffling through our mail, tapping our phones, sending us messages through The Simpsons, and, we're pretty sure, monitoring us via a tiny camera in our cat's nose. So after we've finished making ourselves a tinfoil protecto-hat and phoning in our fears to all the local media outlets, we're heading straight for this month's "Porchlight Storytelling Series: Conspiracy!,"at which wily types such as John Coate (former big cheese at the WELL, SFGate, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and Mark Schapiro (of the local Center for Investigative Reporting) will share tales of frame-ups, complicity, and just-too-perfect coincidences. Don't trust anyone -- especially us -- starting at 7 p.m. at Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market (at Sanchez), S.F. Admission is $10; call 861-5016 or visit

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
At age 20, Dario Argento made a name for himself as the co-scripter (with Bernardo Bertolucci) of the iconic Clint Eastwood spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West. But he didn't really hit his stride until he helmed 1969's creepy murder mystery The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, the first in a string of films that the multitalented Argento wrote, directed, and sometimes edited, acted in, and composed music for. He followed up The Bird with a series of "giallo" (yellow) horror films (nicknamed after the yellow covers of Italian penny-dreadful horror novels) before he hit it big with 1977's Suspiria, the stylish and unsettling masterpiece that remains a cult classic. Catch it tonight as it screens at 8:15 (preceded by The Bird at 5:45) at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 425 Washington (at Battery), S.F. Admission is free, but an RSVP is recommended; call 788-7142 or visit

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